What is it about?
We used extensive methods to search for all countries around the world that have collected population level sitting time data in the last 10 years. We focused on data collected using a single question in a survey. We then looked at how long they reported sitting and which specific tool they used. We found that less than a third of all countries reported sitting time. These countries represented about half of the global adult population. The majority of data were from middle- and high-income countries. Higher-income countries reported higher sitting times than middle- and low-income countries. For example, low-income countries typically reported less than 3 hours a day of sitting time compared to around 5 hours per day for high-income countries. However, we know that self-reporting of daily sitting time is prone to error, therefore these estimates should be viewed cautiously.
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Why is it important?
Too much sitting may be a risk factor for early death and chronic disease, such as diabetes and heart disease. Globally only 29% of countries have collected data on adults sitting time in the last 10 years. In contrast, the majority of countries routinely collect data on physical activity and other health behaviours (e.g. smoking). Monitoring of disease risk factors is an important step to inform action and evaluate policy. Therefore, we need more (high quality) data on sitting time. Single-item questionnaire measurement remains the most popular method for country-level data collection, as it can be incorporated into existing surveys relatively easily. However, due to the limitations of this method, we need to consider using more robust approaches, such as monitoring devices, as well as collecting data in more countries, particularly those classed as low- or middle-income.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Worldwide surveillance of self-reported sitting time: a scoping review, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, September 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s12966-020-01008-4.
You can read the full text:
Open access via ResearchGate.
Global Observatory for Physical Activity - Country Cards
The data from this publication were used to inform the second set of Country Cards produced by the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) - a council of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH).
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